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Better Than Conscious

Author: Christoph Engel
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262195801
Size: 73.10 MB
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Conscious control enables human decision makers to override routines, to exercise willpower, to find innovative solutions, to learn by instruction, to decide collectively, and to justify their choices. These and many more advantages, however, come at a price: the ability to process information consciously is severely limited and conscious decision makers are liable to hundreds of biases. Measured against the norms of rational choice theory, conscious decision makers perform poorly. But if people forego conscious control, in appropriate tasks, they perform surprisingly better: they handle vast amounts of information; they update prior information; they find appropriate solutions to ill-defined problems. This inaugural Strüngmann Forum Report explores the human ability to make decisions, consciously as well as without conscious control. It explores decision-making strategies, including deliberate and intuitive; explicit and implicit; processing information serially and in parallel, with a general-purpose apparatus, or with task-specific neural subsystems. The analysis is at four levels -- neural, psychological, evolutionary, and institutional -- and the discussion is extended to the definition of social problems and the design of better institutional interventions. The results presented differ greatly from what could be expected under standard rational choice theory and deviate even more from the alternate behavioral view of institutions. New challenges emerge (for example, the issue of free will) and some purported social problems almost disappear if one adopts a more adequate model of human decision making.

Agrobiodiversity

Author: Karl S. Zimmerer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262038684
Size: 60.31 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Experts discuss the challenges faced in agrobiodiversity and conservation, integrating disciplines that range from plant and biological sciences to economics and political science. Wide-ranging environmental phenomena—including climate change, extreme weather events, and soil and water availability—combine with such socioeconomic factors as food policies, dietary preferences, and market forces to affect agriculture and food production systems on local, national, and global scales. The increasing simplification of food systems, the continuing decline of plant species, and the ongoing spread of pests and disease threaten biodiversity in agriculture as well as the sustainability of food resources. Complicating the situation further, the multiple systems involved—cultural, economic, environmental, institutional, and technological—are driven by human decision making, which is inevitably informed by diverse knowledge systems. The interactions and linkages that emerge necessitate an integrated assessment if we are to make progress toward sustainable agriculture and food systems. This volume in the Strüngmann Forum Reports series offers insights into the challenges faced in agrobiodiversity and sustainability and proposes an integrative framework to guide future research, scholarship, policy, and practice. The contributors offer perspectives from a range of disciplines, including plant and biological sciences, food systems and nutrition, ecology, economics, plant and animal breeding, anthropology, political science, geography, law, and sociology. Topics covered include evolutionary ecology, food and human health, the governance of agrobiodiversity, and the interactions between agrobiodiversity and climate and demographic change.

The Human Spirit

Author: Douglas R. McGaughey
Publisher: AFRICAN SUN MeDIA
ISBN: 1928357601
Size: 31.42 MB
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An integrated collaborative work and a valuable source for understanding the underpinnings of the concept of spirituality that self-proclaims the “audacious” task of reformulating how we think about Spirit. It is about creative capacities, mind/brain, causality, free will, morality, consciousness, and beauty. In short, it is about being human.

Computational Psychiatry

Author: A. David Redish
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262035421
Size: 66.45 MB
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Psychiatrists and neuroscientists discuss the potential of computational approaches to address problems in psychiatry including diagnosis, treatment, and integration with neurobiology.

The Cultural Nature Of Attachment

Author: Heidi Keller
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262036908
Size: 53.17 MB
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It is generally acknowledged that attachment relationships are important for infants and young children, but there is little clarity on what exactly constitutes such a relationship. Does it occur between two individuals (infant--mother or infant--father) or in an extended network? In the West, monotropic attachment appears to function as a secure foundation for infants, but is this true in other cultures? This volume offers perspectives from a range of disciplines on these questions. Contributors from psychology, biology, anthropology, evolution, social policy, neuroscience, information systems, and practice describe the latest research on the cultural and evolutionary foundations on children's attachment relationships as well as the implications for education, counseling, and policy. The contributors discuss such issues as the possible functions of attachment, including trust and biopsychological regulation; the evolutionary foundations, if any, of attachment; ways to model attachment using the tools of information science; the neural foundations of attachment; and the influence of cultural attitudes on attachment. Taking an integrative approach, the book embraces the wide cultural variations in attachment relationships in humans and their diversity across nonhuman primates. It proposes research methods for the culturally sensitive study of attachment networks that will lead to culturally sensitive assessments, practices, and social policies. ContributorsKim Bard, Marjorie Beeghly, Allyson J. Bennett, Yvonne Bohr, David L. Butler, Nandita Chaudhary, Stephen H. Chen, James B. Chisholm, Lynn A. Fairbanks, Ruth Feldman, Barbara L. Finlay, Suzanne Gaskins, Valeria Gazzola, Ariane Gernhardt, Jay Giedd, Alma Gottlieb, Kristen Hawkes, William D. Hopkins, Johannes Johow, Elfriede Kalcher-Sommersguter, Heidi Keller, Michael Lamb, Katja Liebal, Cindy H. Liu, Gilda A. Morelli, Marjorie Murray, Masako Myowa-Yamakoshi, Naomi Quinn, Mariano Rosabal-Coto, Dirk Scheele,Gabriel Scheidecker, Margaret A. Sheridan, Volker Sommer, Stephen J. Suomi, Akira Takada, Douglas M. Teti, Bernard Thierry, Ross A. Thompson, Akemi Tomoda, Nim Tottenham, Ed Tronick, Marga Vicedo, Leslie Wang, Thomas S. Weisner, Relindis D. Yovsi

Consciousness And The Brain

Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698151402
Size: 16.32 MB
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WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bodies In Action And Symbolic Forms

Author: Horst Bredekamp
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3050061405
Size: 61.33 MB
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Forschungen zur verkorperten Intelligenz und zu den symbolischen Vermittlungen des menschlichen Geistes werden bislang zumeist in getrennten Disziplinen betrieben. Die aus der Kulturphilosophie, Kunst- und Bildwissenschaft, Theologie, Medizin, Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Kognitionswissenschaft stammenden Beitrage des Bandes vereint jedoch das gemeinsame Ziel, einen umfassenden Begriff von Verkorperung zu entwickeln, der die Grenzziehung zwischen kulturalistischen und naturalistischen Ansatzen uberwindet."